Race Review: BHF Tower of London run

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Forecast over London = rain!

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) Town of London jog has been on my bucket list since we moved to London. I mean, who wouldn't want to run in the old moat of the former Royal residency.  This year, I was finally organized enough to register.  Originally, I was supposed to run with work friends but I ended up being on a first aid course near home which mixed up arrival times.  Luckily, I ran into friends from Advent Running, making the race much more enjoyable for me as it was pouring with rain.  One km laps surrounded by brick really aren't that fun.

Race entry:  Register online for £20 (I think) plus there is an option to fundraise for BHF.  You can register on the day too if you aren't big on planning ahead.

Bogs to the left, baggage tent to the right. All in the moat!

Course and bogs:  As it says on the tin, you run around the Tower of London. I thought it would be literal but instead you do U-shaped laps.  You can run as much or as little as you want with suggested distances of 5 or 10 km.  The race isn't timed and you can start whenever you want within a three hour window. I saw many groups of people running together- work teams, rugby clubs, and families all taking part.  The course wasn't crowded but it was busy due to some people walking.  One water station as you turned around made it easy to rehydrate as needed.

There were a handful of port-a-loos near the bag drop off.  Luckily I didn't have to use them.  Because of the variable start time, there wasn't a huge line at any point from what I saw.

Advent Running unite! Photo courtesy of  Mel McKay

Atmosphere:  Even though it was pouring with rain, people were having fun.  Many were walking and several had signs on their back stating who they were running for.  Some 'fans' were even cheering from the pavement above.  I think for many people, it was their first race event and most seemed to have a personal connection to the charity.

Note the catapult

Bling/goody bags:  There wasn't a goody bag but I did snag a free five minute massage.  I was most excited out the race bling, which had potential to be epic, but instead it was pretty boring.  Each participant received a free red technical t-shirt, but again, these were generic.  I totally understand that BHF saves money by not customizing the freebies but I was still sad about the bling.  I would forgo a t-shirt for a really cool medal.

I am still in the moat.  5K done!

Tips if you decide to take part next time:  2018 will be the 40th year of this epic race.
If you are a seasoned runner, get a group of colleagues or neighbors together to take part.  Travel light so you don't need to check a bag unless you want to wait for a loooong time to collect it.  If you have a lust for #racebling, don't run this race for the bling as it is sadly a generic medal (but has a custom ribbon).  BHF gives extra shout-outs to folks who raise more than £500, so if you are committed to the cause, go for it!

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